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"End of Watch": Critics respond to police thriller

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena in "End of Watch." Open Road Films

(CBS News) "End of Watch," an action thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, hits theaters today and a majority of critics are praising the police drama.

Pictures: Jake Gyllenhaal

Gyllenhaal and Pena star as young L.A. police officers who discover a secret that makes them the target of the country's most dangerous drug cartel. The film was written by David Ayer, the writer of "Training Day,"  and  also stars Anna Kenderick and America Ferrera.

Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 84 percent rating. Here's what the critics had to say:

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: "'End of Watch' gives you the savage whoosh of being on a job that can get you killed. Sins of cop cliches can be forgiven when a movie pays honest tribute to police on the line."

Betsy Sharkey of The Los Angeles Times: "From the first tires-squealing, sirens-blaring, guns-blazing car chase to the last quiet conversation, "End of Watch" is a visceral story of beat cops that is rare in its sensitivity, rash in its violence and raw in its humor."

Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post: "A portrait of law enforcement under pressure that is as ennobling as it is gritty."

Amy Biancolli of The San Francisco Chronicle: "The best scenes are filmed inside the cruiser, dashboard shots that face inward instead of out, catching Gyllenhaal and Pena in moments so playful and true they make all other buddy cops look bogus by comparison."

Claudia Puig of USA Today: "Unlike many action thrillers where the viewer is fairly certain that no real harm can come to the protagonists, such is never the case here. In this gritty ride-along, we sense that anything can happen, which adds to the propulsive momentum of a riveting story."

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